Saturday, 10 March 2012

Diving reef West of Aarah Island

For this mornings dive we chose to go to an unnamed reef West of the Aarah Island. There are 2 reefs next to each other and in between there is a narrow channel. Once you get there on the spot you realize the channel is not so narrow, it is rather several hundred meters wide.

Google earth

The reef that was our target has on the west side an opening inside the lagoon and it was not very shallow either. We went in the channel to the opening to the lagoon to test the waters and discovered a South going current so we decided to drift south and keep to the south of the reef.

Philippine damselfish

Axilspot hogfish, juvenile

In we went and the dive started. The bottom was mostly sand here and the current grabbed us and we were gently floating by the reef in a Southerly direction. After awhile the corals became more plentiful and fish was more but not really ever abundant. The visibility was good but started to deteriorate once we got out of the channel current. 

Humbug dascyllus

Cardinaldish (?)

After awhile the current more or less subsided as we were in the lee of the reef and the visibility got worse as the current was pushing sand off the reef and it was almost like snowing. Also the corals got less and less and were more of the dead variety although there was still living patches and fish around. I saw a turtle shortly but he swam further away so was not able to make an acquaintance.

Weird red fish I saw only when I looked at the picture afterwards

Blue-green chromis

The dive was not an impressive one for an experienced diver but I could say a beginner might enjoy this. We spent 70 minutes underwater as the average diving depth was 11m and I still had 20 bar left to red margin. What I also saw a lot was many different Cod and Black saddled puffers and some Emperors. To my surprise I did not come across Moray eel but that does not mean there weren't any around.

Gold-striped emperor

Meyer's butterflyfish

Gold-striped emperor

Blue-and-yellow grouper

Diana's hogfish

Spot-tail sandperch

Golden chromis

Broad stripe fusilier

Bullethead parrotfish, juvenile, down left

Orangestripe spinecheek

Slender grouper under the rock

Black saddled puffer

Dash-dot goatfish

Black saddled puffer

Mushroom coral

Little fish

Threadfin butterflyfish

Yellow saddled goatfish


Yellow saddle goatfish, up and Epaulette surgeonfish, down

Graeffe's seacucumber

Yellowhead butterflyfish

Humbug dascyllus

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